Time-restricted feeding suppresses excess sucrose-induced plasma and liver lipid accumulation in rats

PLoS One. 2018 Aug 15;13(8):e0201261. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0201261. eCollection 2018.


The etiology of metabolic syndrome involves several complicated factors. One of the main factors contributing to metabolic syndrome has been proposed to be excessive intake of sucrose, which disturbs hepatic lipid metabolism, resulting in fatty liver. However, the mechanism by which sucrose induces fatty liver remains to be elucidated. Considering feeding behavior important for metabolism, we investigated whether time-restricted feeding of high sucrose diet (HSD), only in the active phase (the dark phase of the daily light/dark cycle), would ameliorate adverse effects of sucrose on lipid homeostasis in rats. Male Wistar rats, fed either an ad libitum (ad lib.) or time-restricted control starch diet (CD) or HSD were investigated. Rats fed ad lib. (CD and HSD) completed approximately 20% of food intake in the daytime. Time-restricted feeding did not significantly suppress total food intake of rats. However, time-restricted feeding of HSD significantly suppressed the increased plasma triglyceride levels. Moreover, time-restricted feeding also ameliorated HSD-induced liver lipid accumulation, whereas circadian oscillations of liver clock gene or transcriptional factor gene expression for lipid metabolism were not altered significantly. These results demonstrated that restricting sucrose intake only during the active phase in rats ameliorates the abnormal lipid metabolism caused by excess sucrose intake.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Circadian Rhythm / drug effects
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / adverse effects*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / pharmacology
  • Fatty Liver* / chemically induced
  • Fatty Liver* / metabolism
  • Fatty Liver* / pathology
  • Fatty Liver* / physiopathology
  • Feeding Behavior / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Lipid Metabolism / drug effects*
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome* / chemically induced
  • Metabolic Syndrome* / metabolism
  • Metabolic Syndrome* / pathology
  • Metabolic Syndrome* / physiopathology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sucrose / adverse effects*
  • Sucrose / pharmacology
  • Time Factors
  • Transcription, Genetic / drug effects


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Sucrose

Grant support

This work is supported by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (http://www.jsps.go.jp/english/) (Recipient: HO; No.21658052; No.25292069; No.16H04922). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.